Spa meals used to mean rabbit food.
Lots of veggies, little fat or flavor.
But talented young chefs like Scott Uehline at the Canyon Ranch resort near Tuscon, AZ, changed spa cuisine to healthy gourmet dining.
Scott will be in Washington this Tuesday to create a luncheon for the third annual Washington Spa Alliance Symposium. He will be reunited with Susan Delbert, executive chef at the National Press Club, who interned at Canyon Ranch after graduation from the Culinary Institute of America.
"Our menu is designed to showcase a variety of flavors and cooking styles," Scott told me. Each individual course will being a taste from Canyon Ranch resorts.
The appetizer is a preview of their newest restaurant at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia (where local trout is prolific). The new Canyon Ranch SpaClub opens this summer.
An avocado salad evokes a taste of Miami Beach (yet with the infusion of the crisp flavor of yuzu) and Caribbean cruises aboad Oceania Cruises liners.
The entrée is one of our most popular from Tucson, says Scott. Loaded with rich flavors – both toasted spices as well as the fresh heady flavor of the fresh herbs in the homemade harissa - roasted lentils will be served over quinoa.
Dessert was developed in Lenox, Mass. This chocolate cake is so moist and rich that you cannot believe it contains almost a full serving of vegetables.
The intent really is to show how delicious better-for-you-food really is.
Smoked Trout with Tomatoes, Sherry Vinegar and Shallots
Avocado “Tartare”, Mango Yuzu Vinaigrette
Moroccan Spiced Lentils, Harissa, Herbed Quinoa, with or without Roasted Free Range Lamb
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Reservations for the WSPA luncheon March 19 can be made online at www.washingtonspaalliance.com
Located at 14th & F Streets, NW, the National Press Club's Fourth Estate restaurant is open to the public.